My research into what type of writing help people are seeking online recently revealed that there has been a big upsurge in recent years of people looking for help and info for something called “financial hardship letters”. Prior to that, these types of letters were hardly on the radar screen. I believe that the increase in demand for these types of letters is directly attributable to the mortgage insolvency crisis in the USA and some of the spin-off effects as they affect the financial situation of many individuals.
A financial hardship letter is one that is written to a creditor for the purpose of explaining the financial trouble that you are in, and requesting that the addressee provide you with some sort of specific remedy, depending on the exact situation involved.
There are many different situations that can warrant a financial hardship letter. The two most common situations these days are: 1.) to request that your mortgage holder let you “short sale” your house, or 2.) request to your bank or credit card company to consolidate or restructure your debt.
Other typical financial hardship letters include: requests to a college or university to reduce their admission fees due to special circumstances, appeals to a hospital or medical care provider to reduce their billings for compassionate reasons, or, a request to an insurance company to cover the costs of an unusual medical procedure or treatment, and many others.
6 Tips For Writing Financial Hardship Letters
Regardless of the specific situation, ther are a few important guidelines that you should follow if you want to draft a financial hardship letter that will be taken seriously:
1. Keep It Short
Keep your letter short and to the point. Try not to exceed one page. A long, wandering letter will water down the essence of your case and will lose the reader.
2. Make It Personal
Make sure that you personalize your letter as much as possible by including details about you and your family that will get the reader to identify with your situation as a fellow human being.
3. Clearly State Problem
Early in your letter, summarize the specific situation that has prompted you to write the letter. Provide more details in the later paragraphs.
4. Give Enough Information
Your letter should provide enough detailed financial and related information so that the reader can easily understand your situation. Attach clarifying documents as necessary including: cash flow statements, bank statements, income tax statements, invoices, letters, etc.
5. Make Your Request
In the subject-line and the first paragraph of your hardship letter, state exactly what you are requesting. Reiterate this request in slightly different words at the conclusion of the letter.
6. Be Humble and Thankful
To reach the point where you have to write a financial hardship letter means that you are in deep financial trouble and this is basically your last resort. Don’t get into any blame games or side issues. Be respectful and thank the addressee in advance for considering your situation.
To see two sample hardship letters; one mortgage-related and the other credit card related, click on the following link: